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Questions about the history of photography, including why things are the way they are today.

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6
votes
2answers
115 views

Who shaped portraiture pre 1960, and how?

Preamble Ansel Adams was an astounding photographer who influenced many aspiring landscape photographers and became a household name amongst photographers. However he seldom stepped out of his ...
12
votes
2answers
283 views

How has the price of a roll of film developed over the last few decades?

How has the price of a (typical/common) roll of film changed over the last few decades? I am trying to get an impression whether film is getting more expensive (and if so, how much) as a result of ...
5
votes
2answers
221 views

Did film photography have lens correction counterparts?

Were there ever any tools to correct for lens distortion in the film-only era? I'm thinking a device that contained a lens system that you could alter, or a soft workable lens that you could fine ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

What is the reason that the materials of the lens barrels changed from metal to plastic?

Most of my older lenses have a shell of metal instead of plastic that is common today on all lenses even the expensive ones (with the possible exception of expensive tele lenses). When I compare the ...
2
votes
0answers
131 views

What process was used to make this glass plate?

I have an old glass positive photo from about 1850. Does anyone know what process was used? Heliotipy? Puharotipy? I'm think that the author of the image is Puhar I have an appointment with the ...
8
votes
2answers
367 views

Was there a film camera that was silent?

With digital cameras, when there is no mirror, an electronic shutter can be used to more or less eliminate any moving mechanical parts. That way, a camera makes little or no noise, making it useful ...
3
votes
3answers
118 views

Suggestion for books tracing the evolution of photographic equipment [closed]

Could you please suggest a book that Tracks the evolution of photo equipment from inception to modern times Has diagrams and cutaways of equipment and mechanisms, including shutter and aperture ...
2
votes
3answers
302 views

Was there ever a photo that made people cry?

With video, it's pretty easy to evoke emotions. I've seen movies, short clips, music video, animations etc that gets so emotional it would make people cry. Is there something similar with photography? ...
0
votes
1answer
331 views

What is the infinity lens by Jim Frazier? [duplicate]

I know who Jim Frazier is and what he has done, but I only have basic knowledge of his invention. Could someone please explain what he has done further?
4
votes
2answers
340 views

Why do Nikon cameras use lowercase “O”s instead of zeroes?

On every Nikon camera with an external LCD display and/or an in-finder one, figures of zero are stylized as the bottom half of an 8 rather than the outer rectangle of segments as used on almost every ...
15
votes
7answers
1k views

Why did “pure” photography displace pictoralism so completely?

Originally, the first photographers were more concerned with the science and technology of photography than with art, and the results were largely dry point-and-shoot affairs. This relatively quickly ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

Why did Canon come up with APS-H and why did the top-of-the-line 1D's *still* use it and 1.3x crop, when FF existed for four years (the 5D)?

With the 1.5/1.6X (APS-C/DX) crop factors and full frame just about ubiquitous these days in the digital world -- why hadn't Canon's top-of-the-line 1D's moved to FF sooner? It took four years! Is ...
-4
votes
2answers
639 views

Why do they do sketches in Court? [closed]

I was curious why they do sketches of people in the court room still. I would think taking pictures would be much easier. That and I'm curious why it started in the first place.
14
votes
6answers
4k views

What, if anything, does “RAW” stand for?

I understand that RAW files contain data straight from the sensor, that they're used as input to the production process that results in a final image, and that RAW isn't really one format but a ...
5
votes
1answer
272 views

How did people showcase their photographs before the Internet?

I am curious as to how, in earlier days (before the advent of Internet), photos were showcased to large audience when someone was in the learning path of photography? Nowadays you take a picture ...
1
vote
2answers
221 views

A photo showing the point of view of a celebrity going down from an airstair and facing a crowd of photographers [closed]

I saw a photo and I am looking for its author, he/she was not credited in the book I saw. I do not know whether the photo is famous. The photo is black and white. It is taken from the point of view ...
0
votes
3answers
118 views

Which is the first camera that introduced dial method to set values?

When was the first camera with dial(wheel) method to input settings introduced? Which model is it?What is the method that is used before this?
4
votes
1answer
217 views

Who is the (contemporary) photographer using an old bellow camera?

I have read about a photographer (possibly working for/collaborating with the National Geographic society) who was using (not uniquely, of course) an old style bellow camera for his shoots. He went on ...
5
votes
3answers
433 views

Why do camera manufacturers use different lens mounts?

If all manufacturers used the same mounts for their cameras then they could share lenses and focus more on improving optics, sensor technology and accessories instead of having completely separate ...
4
votes
1answer
270 views

Why do people say they like “art” and “photography”, instead of just “art”?

Always puzzle me to hear people list photography (in the context of it being art) and something different than art. Is there a reason for this historically?
4
votes
3answers
235 views

Wet photography: what's the second choice after silver halide?

All the film photography I know of - both colour and black-and-white - uses silver halide as the photosensitive component. I suppose that after over a hundred years of wet photography we have a good ...
5
votes
5answers
192 views

Where can I learn about the History of Photography?

I am taking a semester long independent study class on photography, and one of my goals is to learn a brief history of photography; are there any great resources that, without going into too much ...
4
votes
2answers
366 views

What would be examples of Principle of Alternation, other than chiaroscuro?

I watched this video of Online Art Academy about Design Principle of Alternation, where alternating light and dark is used to add rhythm, interest and vitality into composition. An obvious example of ...
7
votes
2answers
339 views

What's the Reason 35mm Film is As Wide As It Is?

I'd like to know if there is a reason why Dickons and Edison chose exactly 35mm as the width of their films.
12
votes
1answer
159 views

Book on the rise of digital photography

I am very interested in recent developments in photography. Over the last 10-15 years there have been major upheavals in the industry, including the complete switch to digital and the death of photo ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

What makes this Eggleston picture great?

What makes this Eggleston picture great? I'm being a little provocative here, I actually like the picture, but... It is just a rusty toy; you can find one like it almost everywhere. Ok, the ...
2
votes
5answers
632 views

What technical factors make bokeh particularly trendy in recent years?

I have read on more then one occasion that bokeh or shallow depth of field is trendy currently. I am specifically interested in reasoning why this may be the case. I understand that bokeh is trendy ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Where does the ¹/shutter speed = focal length rule for hand shake come from?

The generally accepted rule of thumb is that the shutter speed must be the same or larger than the inverse of the focal length. As is, it seems that it makes no sense as is: On a 24 Mpixels ...
5
votes
1answer
935 views

How to reproduce Renaissance painting styles in photography?

Rembrandt lighting is a well-known technique to produce Chiaroscuro, presentation of depth using light and shadow areas. But in addition to Chiaroscuro, there were three other painting modes in the ...
4
votes
1answer
403 views

What is the Adam-Salomon style of lighting?

In researching aspect ratios, I came across this charming article from an 1875 journal of photography, which mentions as changes in fashion of photography the "Adam-Salomon and Rembrandt styles". This ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

How did they post process before Photoshop?

So, yes, I'm intrigued as to how they post process pictures before Photoshop (or computers, for that matter) came about. Or is post processing a by-product of the computer revolution? My ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Why are Canon and Nikon the biggest camera manufacturers?

Coming in new to the whole SLR world, I am yet to find a conclusive answer to a question that's been bothering me: why are Canon and Nikon the big two? My wife has gone down the Sony route because ...
10
votes
2answers
926 views

Why did camera manufacturers create crop sensor cameras?

Why did camera manufacturers create crop sensor cameras? Was there a business reason? Did they figure that crop sensor cameras are cheaper to manufacturer, which would in turn lower prices and make ...
3
votes
1answer
939 views

Which famous photographers used mostly one lens throughout their careers? [closed]

Which famous or outstanding photographers did use mostly only one focal length throughout their career and what focal length did they use? For medium and large format photography, please indicate a ...
8
votes
1answer
319 views

What camera did Ed White use during the first space walk?

What camera did the astronaut Ed White use during the first space walk? It was the mission Gemini 4 and the camera is visible in some pictures, for example here: ...
50
votes
3answers
3k views

What historic reasons are there for common aspect ratios?

The most common width to height ratio rates in the "old good" paper photography seems to be 3:2, which was adopted by today's DSLRs. Early (non-professional) digital cameras adopted 4:3 aspect ratio, ...
10
votes
2answers
715 views

What was the “New York School” of photography?

My art history knowledge consists of half-remembered intro-level courses. I learned from following this question that Saul Leiter was a member of or made contributions to something called "The New ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Does black and white photography still make sense?

I think at first it was because of a limitation of the cameras present at the time, but with the color cameras that we have available now, what do you think of black and white photos? In other words, ...
20
votes
1answer
619 views

Which is “the most memorable, mind-changing photograph of all time” that Galen Rowell talks about?

Galen Rowell in one of his books talks about the "The most memorable, mind-changing photograph of all time. A color landscape shot taken without a tripod by an amateur". Does anyone have a link to a ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

(Why) Do Photographers Work Alone?

It strikes me that all the photographers I have heard of are one-man bands. I don't know of any famous partnerships or teams in photography. Other areas of human endeavour have plenty of ...
10
votes
2answers
256 views

What can a photographer learn from art history?

I normally wouldn't consider this a question of photography, except for the fact that several answers on this question made note that art history was something important to the education they received ...